MOSCOW — The Russian rouble hit its weakest point in nearly three weeks past 61 against the dollar on Tuesday, but saw a more modest drop than Monday’s sharp slide, as the peak of a favorable tax payment period passed.
At 0723 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% weaker against the dollar at 61.33, its weakest since Nov. 10. It lost around 1.2% in the previous session.
The rouble gained 0.5% to trade at 63.56 versus the euro and shed 1.1% against the yuan to 8.53 .
The peak of a month-end tax payments period that usually sees Russian exporters convert foreign currency earnings into roubles has now passed.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 2% at $84.9 a barrel.
The improving situation on energy markets could see the rouble try to win back some of the losses sustained in the previous session, Banki.ru chief analyst Bogdan Zvarich said.
It could return to the 60-61 range against the greenback where it has traded for most of November, he added.
Russian stock indexes were mixed.
“The Russian market continues to consolidate, gradually slipping to the lower end of the recent range – the negative external background weighs, while the lack of any internal additional drivers adds no optimism,” BCS World of Investments said in a note. “Sideways trading may persist until the end of the year.”
The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.2% to 1,120.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.2% higher at 2,182.0 points.
Yandex’s shares were up 1% in Moscow after former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin said he would step down as head of the Audit Chamber to focus on private initiatives, with sources expecting him to take a role at the tech giant.
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For Russian treasury bonds see (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Heavens)